July 2021 - East Cheshire Hospice

Joan’s Sunflower Donations Continue to Blossom

A simple sunflower seed has led to a thriving fundraising venture for Joan Edwards to honour her son-in-law’s memory.

When Liam Ward was in the care of East Cheshire Hospice in 2018, his wife Michaela bought a packet of seeds from the Hospice reception area.

Liam died of sarcoma, a rare form of cancer, aged 34 and the sunflower is the Hospice emblem.

Joan has grown the sunflowers in her greenhouse since her daughter gave her the seeds, raising £810 for the Hospice in return for a £1 donation for each flower.

Joan said: “Michaela isn’t green fingered and asked me to grow them. It started as a bit of fun between the family and grandchildren.

“I took the seeds from the head of my biggest sunflower and dried them over the first winter before planting them again and selling 450 last year.

“It wasn’t quite as popular this year, but it doesn’t make any difference how much, or how many. It’s my way of giving back to the Hospice for what they did for Liam and the help they gave him, Michaela and their two boys.

“I advertise on Facebook and lot of people buy them who’ve probably faced a similar situation in their lives. It’s become popular and friends now look forward to it each year.”

Joan also grows lettuce, spring onions, tomatoes and runner beans in her back garden.

Joan Edwards at home in her greenhouse.

Elspeth Retires from volunteering after 33 Years

One of our longest serving volunteers Elspeth Julian has retired after 33 years with the Hospice.

Elspeth, from Prestbury, has been an adult bereavement counsellor almost since the day the Hospice opened its doors in 1988.

A special afternoon tea marked Elspeth’s farewell and well-earned retirement.

It also gave colleagues the chance to thank her for her vital role helping countless families who have lost loved ones.

Reluctantly, Elspeth was absent from her part-time duties for more than a year because of the Covid-19 restrictions.

She said: “I’ll miss being part of such a worthwhile organisation with its welcoming atmosphere but all good things come to an end I suppose.

“When the Hospice was setting up bereavement services I was invited to join a small group of volunteers to visit the relations of patients who had died there.

“I’d been a social worker, and a Samaritan, and so had some experience of counselling skills. Back then, we went out into the community and saw people in their homes, so quite a lot of travelling was involved.

“After I left my job as a special needs teacher 18 years ago, I underwent formal training to become a counsellor.

“There’ve been lots of changes over the years and the bereavement service is far more structured now with children’s services as well as those for adults.”

Elspeth now has more time to spend with husband David, their three children and four grandchildren. She enjoys playing Bridge, visiting Dorset and is looking forward to travelling further afield again as soon as possible.

Elspeth Julian who is retiring after 33 years as a volunteer at East Cheshire Hospice.

Elspeth added: “I’m humbled that people have chosen to talk about their problems. The greatest joy has been feeling that I may have been of some help at such a difficult time.

“My message to anyone bereaved is that if you feel there’s something worrying you that you can’t happily talk to friends and family about, then consider speaking to a counsellor who will listen non-judgementally and not give advice but help you find your way through.”

Helena Smith, the Hospice’s Voluntary Services Co-ordinator, said: “The work Elspeth has done for the Hospice not only supports the people she directly counsels, but ripples out into their families as their resilience grows.

“These ripples, both big and small spreading out across the 30-plus years she’s volunteered for us, adds up to a remarkable contribution to our community.”

Play Our Lottery!

Organisers of the East Cheshire Hospice lottery are appealing for new members to raise much-needed funds.

Income has dropped over the last 18 months with door-to-door collections suspended during Covid-19, along with charity shop recruitment.

The lottery generates £324,000 a year which pays for three days of care each week in the Hospice’s Sunflower Centre.

Tickets are still only £1 with a weekly jackpot of £1,000, plus 22 other cash prizes, including a second prize of £200, which can rollover.

Of the £1 entry, 72p goes directly to fund patient care. The lottery has more than 6,000 members and has been going since 1995, raising around £4.5m.

Lottery manager Carol Frain said: “We’d love to get new members but haven’t been able to do any recruitment because of the pandemic.

“We haven’t increased the ticket price and are cheaper than many other lotteries. You don’t just play to win, you’re also giving someone with a life-limiting illness the support they need.”

Some jackpot winners, including a volunteer, have donated winnings to the Hospice which needs to raise at least £7,500 a day to keep going.

Winners are drawn randomly each Friday and results published on the Hospice website and in the Macclesfield Express.

Entry at £4.34 a month can be via direct debit, debit card or cheque. Scratch cards are also available.

* To join visit eastcheshirehospice.org.uk/support/lottery or call 01625 433477 (Ext 2).

Lottery organisers Carol Frain (left) and Celia Stanley.

Heather Broadbent Update

Sailor Heather Broadbent is refusing to give up on her round-the-world voyage despite a two-year gap at home.

She was midway through the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race before it was suspended early last year because of Covid-19.

The event is due to resume in the Philippines next February, although Heather admits she had serious misgivings about completing the race and thought long and hard about going back.

She hopes to raise £40,000 for East Cheshire Hospice where her late husband Adam (45) was a patient.

Heather said: “After a difficult year of low and lonely times,  I’ve really struggled with my mental health and I wasn’t sure if I had the strength to continue with my round-the-world challenge for the Hospice.

“Only in the last few weeks with the support and encouragement of my family have I realised that I’m still strong and capable and I can finish what I started over three years ago when I first signed up for the 40,000 mile race and a £40,000 challenge.”

Heather, a landscape gardener, will possibly enter the record books for competing in the longest round-the-world race in history.

An event that should have taken 11 months saw some competitors drop out because of the lengthy delay. It is now due to finish almost three years after its start date in September 2019.

Heather, from Disley, said: “It was a difficult decision to consider going back.  During the first lockdown, I only thought I’d be home for two or three months and that was my mind set.

“I was still in the zone then but being stuck at home has been tough mentally and it’s been hard getting my head back into gear thinking about resuming.

“However, I’d kick myself if I didn’t try to finish it. It’s not in my nature not to complete something.”

Heather is meeting other crew members in London this month before attending a refresher course. Her team yacht GoToBermuda has been stuck in Asia since she left.

Heather said: “The plan was to circumnavigate the globe in one go and the long break in the middle is a huge disappointment. I’m nervous I’ve forgotten what to do.”

Heather has already raised more than £29,000 for the Hospice’s Hospice @Home service. “I’ve been stuck around that mark for a while but I’m determined to meet my target.”

* To sponsor Heather visit justgiving.com/fundraising/dreamitnowdoit.

Heather Broadbent on her voyage.


Corporate Challenge Raises £13,533 for Hospice Bereavement Services

A bumper sum of £13,533 raised in the Corporate Challenge run by East Cheshire Hospice will help fund the Hospice’s bereavement services.

Firms had to raise as much as possible from a £100 start-up loan during May.

The proceeds will provide much-needed support to expand a bereavement service in greater demand because of Covid-19.

Corporate Fundraiser Chrissie Hunter said: “It’s been a tough 18 months for businesses so to raise such an impressive amount is incredible.

“We want to thank everyone for their ideas and efforts to make it happen, including those who generously supported fundraising initiatives.”

Clear winners of the fun competition were Kuehne+Nagel with £6,008, while the prize for the most creative team went to Equilibrium Financial Planning with a nine million step challenge from Manchester to the Equator.

Raffles and wine tasting also contributed towards their donation of £2,621. Not far behind were recruitment firm Leap 29 with ideas including a doggy day care and a three peaks challenge.

Highlights for Spirit Medical Communications included a movie quiz and Eurovision sweepstake.

Chess ICT filled tubes of Smarties with coins as part of their commitment, while staff at Pan European Networks ran a 5k and held a bingo lunch hour in their month of fundraising.

Kuehne+Nagel’s Corporate Challenge in Memory of Neil Robinson

Friends and colleagues of Neil Robinson raised a toast to his memory with a drop of gin, his favourite tipple.

Drink and cakes were sold by colleagues at global logistics company Kuehne+Nagel where Air Logistics Commercial Director Neil spent his entire career.

It was part of a fundraising challenge, which raised £6,008 in just one month for East Cheshire Hospice where Neil, from Macclesfield, died of cancer in 2019, aged 53.


Neil Robinson with his favourite drink of gin.


Former team-mates at Bollington Cricket Club, family and friends, plus Hospice staff placed online orders to support the venture.

Close friend Gareth Prosser, National Operational Care Manager in the same section, organised Kuehne+Nagel’s involvement in a Corporate Challenge run by the Hospice.

Gareth said: “Neil was universally loved by colleagues up and down the country and had a positive impact on everyone he met.

“His family were delighted that we remembered him this way. They’re a very close family and every minute at the Hospice was precious for them, allowing them to make the most of that time together.

“As soon as Neil’s name is attached to a fundraising event everyone jumps on it, especially when it means all they have to do is eat, drink, be merry and reminisce!

“His favourite drink was gin so we ordered bottles with a bespoke flavour from Inspirited Gin, and then decided to add beer and cakes to the offering to appeal to all tastes.

“Inspirited kindly gave us discount on the gin, postage and also matched the profit from the gin, a donation worth about £600.

“Brewhouse and Kitchen gave a reduced rate for beer, while Biscotti Box supplied boxes of brownies and blondies.”

Over 75 bottles of gin were sold, along with 100 boxes of brownies and 50 kegs of beer with orders coming from as far south as Cornwall and as north as Scotland.”

A signed limited edition vinyl record donated by Manchester band The Slow Readers Club also raised £200 in a raffle.

The Hospice was invited to address almost 200 colleagues at a Kuehne+Nagel drop-in virtual meeting.

Hospice representatives spoke about the care it provides free of charge to patients in the community with life-limiting illnesses.

The meeting was attended by Kuehne+Nagel’s Managing Director Brian Cox who fully supported the fundraising activity and helped take the total to more than £6,000.


Kuehne+Nagel staff (from left) Gareth Prosser, Matthew Barton, Tim Webb and Matthew Brett.

Gritstone Trail Challenge is Especially Poignant for Mike and Sam

Relief at ending a gruelling charity walk turned to sadness for fitness enthusiasts Mike Mason and Sam Maguire.

The day after the pair had completed the 35-mile Gritstone Trail they learned that Faith Mitchell, wife of their close friend Ash, had died of cancer sarcoma, aged 33.

Faith was a patient at East Cheshire Hospice and was the inspiration behind their challenge which has already raised more than £2,500 for the Hospice.

Mike is head coach at Silk Fitness Therapy which is part of the Hospice’s 500 Club in which members pledge to raise £500 a year for three years.

Mike said: “We heard the tragic news about Faith on the afternoon following our walk which became quite poignant in the end.

“Faith’s illness was diagnosed three years ago and she fought until the end. She’ll be missed terribly and was well looked after by the Hospice.”

Silk gym owners Fabio and Kate Mazzieri and nutritionist Bex Ward joined the pair for the second half of the walk.

The hilly journey from Disley to Kidsgrove took more than 14 hours and is usually spread over three days.

Fellow gym member Carole Barough accompanied Mike and Sam for the first leg of the trip.

Mike said: “It was tough, especially as it was a hot day, but good fun. I realised early on my bag was too heavy and luckily gym members Fran Wilkie and Jo Prescott met us and took some things to lighten the load.

“Sam has done a lot of cycling and has lots of stamina, but neither of us has walked that far before and it was quite surreal near the end.

“We didn’t have much more to give, but knowing Fabio had a cool box full of cold beers in his car at the finish got us through it.

“Faith was our main motivation for the challenge, but Silk is also a proud member of the 500 Club so that was another reason to raise funds.”

* To sponsor them visit justgiving.com/fundraising/SFT.

Journey’s end….from left, Katie and Fabio Mazzieri, Sam Maguire, Mike Mason and Bex Ward after completing the Gritstone Trail.  

Local Hens Eggschange their Produce for Donations

It’s no yoke – eggs are a cracking way to raise money for East Cheshire Hospice.

Schoolgirl Freya Eeles (11) discovered that by selling them outside her step mum’s home in Hallefield Crescent, Macclesfield.

A dozen hens kept on land behind the house work overtime and with a suggested donation of 10p an egg which goes into an honesty box almost £200 has been raised for the Hospice.

A WhatsApp group alerts neighbours when fresh supplies are ready for collection.

Step mum April Smith said: “Freya loves the hens and our two pygmy goats and helps clean them out and feed them.

“My partner Mark gets up at 5 am every day to let the hens out and waters and feeds them.

“The neighbours love the eggs for breakfast and we want to thank the whole neighbourhood for supporting us.

“The Hallefield area is a brilliant community and everyone who lives here says the same thing. We wouldn’t want to live anywhere else and we’re all there for each other.

“We’re friends as well as neighbours.”

Freya with one of her hens called Gladys.